Iron Chef America : Supreme Cuisine
Anyway it's last year, 2008, and Food Network has it's first major game out of it's lineup to show the world, Iron Chef America : Supreme Cuisine. Sure, sure, if you are a true die hard fan of the old gen consoles you probably remember the original Iron Chef had a few games under it's belt (I heard of at least one for the SEGA Saturn for instance) but this is the first outing for the new series, and a at least fairly up to date version with Cat Cora being part of the cast (but no Michael Symon so it's either set before the addition of the newest Iron Chef (the winner of the first, and so far only, TV Reality Show competition to find a new Iron Chef) or they just didn't add him.. He wasn't the only one absent, but
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Set in a Cooking Mama style gameplay mechanics, combined with a smoother flow of gaming almost to the tone of Order Up (only without the multitasking), you are given the studio of Iron Chef America to reign upon as your very own. Each challenger (in Career mode) offers up a different task as the Chairman (voiceover talk soon, and you should be mostly pleased with how that turned out) sets you to one of the so many secret ingredients (which can all be practiced in the extensive and finely detailed training mode this game sports) of which you pick out anywhere from 4 to 6 dishes to make, given an hour to complete (but not a real hour, the hour just ends when you wrap up your preps as long as you don't take too long or miss too many tasks I suppose... I never seem to run out of time during cooking so I wonder if that's even possible). The tasks are strung in a long chain of mini games, with only a slight breath between each, meaning cooking is rather flawless though patterned and orderly. The Cooking Mama style (and by that I mean pre World Kitchen and the massive revamps seen in that game) of cooking is quick to pick up, but if you are having abit of problem there is plenty of chances to practice both cooking styles (general) and recipes (specific). A ton of practice in fact, as this game (as I mentioned already) sports the best tutorial mode of any cooking game to date.
And did I mention this game also features the most recipes of any game to date? About 120 or so if I remember right, I know it's over 100 definitely though but that clocks in at the highest recipe count per game ever, outdistancing past high number holders Order Up and Cooking Mama. That's a lot of recipes (and you can chain together 4-6 of these recipes during a single competition be it in Career or Free Play modes, of which you
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Voiceover is good. The entire cast represented here are all here... which of course means the three who didn't show up aren't here... so I guess we can get the disappointment factor over with first, shall we?
Who isn't in this game? Besides new guy Michael Symon there's no appearance by retired Iron Chef Wolfgang Puck... hmm... what do we call him? Iron Chef Fancy Pants? Iron Chef Hollywood? What... oh, and yes for all your grillin' and chillin' fan boys out there your god of Southwestern slash Grilling, aka Bobby Flay? He's not here either. So if you're entire make or break decision on getting this game depended on him being in this game... oh, well... you might as well forget him, I mean if he's so great how come he didn't make his own cooking game yet? The game mechanics are all there (off of the new Cooking Mama or Order Up or here) for a Southwestern or a Grilling game. He's just being difficult, that's all!
So who is in this game? First the ones with the lowest voiceover time... the Iron Chefs... yeah, yeah, it's a game about the Iron Chefs yet they log in what seems to be the least game time in the game voiceover wise... go figure.
The three remaining Iron Chefs (Batali, Cora and Morimoto) are all here... only problem is they only seem to sport several soundbites apiece and nothing more. What? Did I go out of my way to review this only to get this low a content from them? Seriously? You kidding me! And there's this big ole' clips on the internet about the day Alton Brown and Cat Cora went to voiceover work on the game on the same day and all... so, what, did Cora hang around the buffet line waiting for Alton to be done or did she just go home after her hour or so work? Wow.
Yes, the greatest chunk of voiceover (and I do mean greatest) goes to Alton (most voiceover)
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The game is great, but if you're here for the star power you'll probably be disappointed. Ditto if you're a Good Eats fan since Alton is here but he isn't really firing on all cylinders like in Good Eats... is it me or did they lobotomize him personality wise between Good Eats and Iron Chef America as he seems to have lost his edge and wit between series? What gives!!
Enough gameplay here for 20-30 hours of gameplay, and if you can get two people together you can challenge or team up for competition (which is also an adder onto of gameplay options and time you'll be spending on the game). Plus side the gameplay is solid, it's nice and well rounded and packs the highest order of recipes and the largest most detailed tutorial mode ever. Downside is that the game could have stood more personal one on one time with the Iron Chefs, and while the game tries to personalize it with a character creation mode the mode is a thin shallow wading pool of creation that really needed a depth similar to the character creator mode in Cooking Mama : World Kitchen.
So it's a pretty good game, if you can overlook it's shortcomings... now I just have to give the DS version a spin and see what I think of that one (despite the fact I already added the DS version to my recommendations list for traveling cooking gamers (DS Edition)... why? More on that shortly.)
For now this game gets 4 platings out of 5... So, other than that see you soon when I review Food Network : Cook or Be Cooked.
Animal Crossing: City Folk“
This is a most addictive game that never ends, as you are certain to find something to do in the village each and every day...
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